Vail Valley preps: Giants win, Giants win |

Vail Valley preps: Giants win, Giants win

On April 5, in this space, your friendly sports editor wrote that the San Francisco Giants would win the National League West.

Thank you very much.

Not only is this an opportunity for me to gloat – where’d you Rockies fans go? – but, well, it gives me my bonafides to hand out this week’s marching orders in the world of preps.

• So who does Battle Mountain soccer play today? At Moffat County? Fired up, boys? Here you go: “We’ll beat them when we come home. I ain’t worried about it. At home, we’ll beat them.” So said Moffat coach Rusty Cox after the Huskies downed the Bulldogs, 3-2, in Edwards last month. My work here is done.

• Funny moment for Huskies soccer: Coach David Cope didn’t like that Cheyenne Mountain got a second try on a penalty kick last weekend, and expressed his displeasure as such to the referee. The only problem was that assistant coach Kyle Mercer got booked for Cope’s rare expression of displeasure – I think the last time Cope was hot on the sidelines was during the second Eagle Valley game back in Eagle-Vail in 2008 on Cesar Castillo’s direct kick that wasn’t.

Anyway, Mercer, who probably should get booked a bunch because he is the designated bad cop to Cope’s good guy persona, got the yellow. Alas, the best assistant coach in the county got booked. (Kyle, of course, is a true Giants fan, and, as such, gets this designation.)

• Eagle Valley soccer coach Jason Rittmiller has been downright boring in postgame interviews this year. It’s essentially been something to the effect of “We’ve got the pieces. We just need to put them together.”

Boring, but true. I’d like to see a little more defense organization – and that’s really nit-picking – but this team is in a nice position to make a playoff drive, Yes, the Devils have three losses, but this is the six-team Slope now. The three teams ahead of the Devils, Battle Mountain, Moffat and Steamboat Springs all play each other and still have to face Eagle Valley again, not exactly an enviable task. Eagle Valley can easily make up ground.

As always in 4A Slope soccer is October is fun.

• Way to go, Battle Mountain volleyball. Great win over Glenwood Tuesday. In the excitement of the team’s first win, I left out freshman Brooke White. She’s played a bit. She has had an official start or two, but Tuesday was her real coming-out party, so congratulations.

• Eagle Valley volleyball hit a bump in the road at Grand Junction Central. This is fine. Well, let’s rephrase, it stinks. If this team liked to lose or got used to losing, we’d have a serious problem. Take it out on Glenwood Saturday.

Going deeper, I like what coach Shawn Weatherred is doing during the games I’ve seen. It’s curious to see Weatherred take out Alex Lassa for an entire game, like he did against Battle Mountain last week. Weatherred says he’s doing that to build his bench and to prepare his team for the unthinkable, read “What if one of his key players gets injured.”

All of the above is true. But the real reason is by playing assorted combinations on the court is that the coach makes league games a challenge for his team, keeping them focused on the task at hand. Eagle Valley can cruise to 12-0 in the Slope with starters playing all three games of each match, but they’re going to better for playing through Weatherred’s machinations come the postseason.

And they’ll still go 12-0 in the Slope.

• it’s road warrior week for all three local football teams. We start with Eagle Valley. First off, a very tough loss last week. What is it about Rifle with Eagle Valley? There is always one team that has another’s number and the Bears play that role for the Devils.

That said, it’s Delta Friday. This is not the Delta we’re familiar with from the last two years or so. The Panthers squeaked by Steamboat Springs, 10-7, last week, and the Sailors aren’t anything close to what they’ve been in recent memory. Time to get well before two big ones against Palisade and Glenwood Springs.

• The same goes for Vail Christian at North Park, but replace Justice and West Grand for Palisade and Glenwood Springs.

• After Friday’s Battle Mountain-Glenwood game, I talked to a fan who said that Battle Mountain just can’t compete in the 3A Slope. Umm, no. Glenwood was the first team that’s over-matched the Huskies this year, and we just finished Week 5. In the world of Battle Mountain football, where progress is sometimes hard to measure, this is progress.

The Huskies are in a tough spot. Without quarterback Jack Engle – I’ll put a $1 into the pot – they’re limited with what they can do offensively. The coaching staff has done what it can do to mix things up, but, by now, everyone and their brother knows it’s Reeve Sanders and Chris Libertini on offense.

What’s-his-name will be back … sometime. If I told you, I’d have to kill you. Palisade is another test this week. Keep playing.

• And I wasn’t kidding last week when I compared Huskies football to Giants baseball. Torture, followed by eventual glory as the G-Men nearly threw away the division title before winning it on the final day of the season. The Giants will beat the Braves, but fall to Philadelphia, which wins it all over the Yankees.

Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 970-748-2934 or

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